Enlightening documentary, but I believe no backpacker is going to watch it. Basically, it covers the tracks of 20-something middle-class backpackers, mostly from the U.S.A. (gringos) looking to binge-drinking, fornicate and do drugs while on vacation in 'cool' remote places in poorer countries.
How are targeted these places? Because they are secluded, remote, unregulated, exotic and you can go back home and tell you've been there and get "Ooooh!" of surprise by your friends. Quite dull to start with.
That's a fringe of tourism, and I would have liked to see a more comprehensive take about the positive effects as well, and maybe some insights on why thing start going downhill (is public regulation the only way?). I have never been a backpacker but overall the message i got from this documentary is that you are selfish if you want to visit remote areas.
I think the documentary needs some closure and should have scratched more in depth this...
If you’ve read my other reviews on Amazon you might know that I love documentaries of all types. I always amazed at how a documentary filmmaker can put so much effort into filming a continuing story and not know where it will take them. In the case of this 79 minute film, the journey by director (and prominent anthropologist) Pegi Vail started in 1981 and ended in 2013. That’s a long time to complete a film.
The subject here is tourism and the effect it has on both local culture as well as the environment. It’s not as “preachy” as it sounds. Vail lets the pictures tell the story. As more and more young people have the urge (and financial resources) to travel, they are looking for exotic places like South America. Africa and Asia. But, instead of travelling by themselves they join a “herd” of backpackers in organized tours and – while they think they are “roughing it” – they spend days taking photos and night...
"Gringo Trails" is an insightful documentary that truly unveils a new perspective of the impacts visitors can leave on the global tourism industry. The documentary overall does a decent job of raising awareness of the negatives that come along with becoming a tourist destination. It shares the stories of several backpackers and how they differently impacted their travel destinations. The movie includes stories from the author of "Jungle", Yossi Ghinsberg, a woman and her travel fantasy of experiencing Timbuktu, as well as several other powerful tales of travelers and their realizations of how they impacted their destinations. The film did a good job of incorporating different aspects of how tourism can affect the environment, but it also at times included random bits of stories that people interviewed and shared. Such as when the story was told of how this guy and his friend travelled to a foreign country and had an experience with two women whom they suspected to be...
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